Dogs Can Understand Human Point of View, Study Says

Domestic dogs are more likely to disobey in a dark room than in a lit one

By on February 12th, 2013 19:41 GMT

Most people who own dogs are well aware of the fact that their beloved pooches are quite clever animals, capable of understanding them and of twisting various situations so as to make sure things eventually go their way.

Apparently, the scientific community is just now picking up to this piece of information, hence their rolling out a study stating that dogs can understand human point of view.

The experiments carried out as part of this research have showed that domestic dogs are four times more likely to steal food they have been forbidden to eat when finding themselves in a dark room, than they are to disobey in the same manner when in a well lit room.

As reported on the official website for the University of Portsmouth, Dr. Juliane Kaminski commented on these findings as follows:

“Humans constantly attribute certain qualities and emotions to other living things. We know that our own dog is clever or sensitive, but that’s us thinking, not them.”

Still, “These results suggest humans might be right, where dogs are concerned, but we still can’t be completely sure if the results mean dogs have a truly flexible understanding of the mind and others’ minds. It has always been assumed only humans had this ability.”

Prior to their reaching these conclusions, the researchers analyzed the behavior of 84 dogs, of which 42 were males and 42 females.

Thus, they came to realize that these dogs preferred to move in for the snack when the room was dark, and not when the lights were on. In other words, they were clever enough to wait until nobody could see them.

“The results of these tests suggest that dogs are deciding it’s safer to steal the food when the room is dark because they understand something of the human’s perspective,” Dr. Juliane Kamiski argued.

For the time being, Dr. Juliane Kamiski wishes to conduct further experiments so as to pin down the exact mechanisms that are causing the dogs to behave in this manner.
Dogs understand human point of view, new study claims
   Dogs understand human point of view, new study claims
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